Anthony Heilbut informed TBGB this afternoon that Inez Andrews, iconic singer for the Caravans, leader of the Andrewettes, and whose solo recording of Doris Akers’ “Lord, Don’t Move This Mountain” was a gospel and R&B hit, died this afternoon after a long illness.
Thursday, December 27, 2012 – 7:00 P.M.
Friday, December 28, 2012 – 10:00 AM Visitation
11:00 AM Service
All services will be held at:
Apostolic Church of God
6320 South Dorchester Avenue Chicago, IL 60637
Dr. Byron Brazier, Pastor
Born Inez McConico in Birmingham, Alabama, on April 14, 1929, Andrews met James Cleveland in Nashville while substituting for Dorothy Love Coates in the Gospel Harmonettes. Cleveland told Albertina Walker about the female singer whose “Soldiers In The Army” tore up the Nashville program. Walker recruited Andrews to the Caravans in 1957. Her first recorded solo with the group was in 1957 with Dorothy Norwood on “Come On Jesus.” She also sang “I’m Not Tired Yet,” “Hold To God’s Unchanging Hands,” and the explosive “Mary, Don’t You Weep.” In gospel performance, Andrews would walk the aisles of churches and auditoriums, calling out for Mary, during the song’s extended vamp.
She sang with the Caravans until 1962, when she organized her own group, the Andrewettes, which included Elizabeth Dargan. The story goes that Peacock’s chief, Don Robey, nicknamed Andrews the “Song Bird,” and that inspired the name for the subsidiary label on which the Andrewettes recorded.
Andrews may be best known, however, for her 1973 crossover solo hit, “Lord, Don’t Move That Mountain,” written by Doris Akers.
Also known as “The High Priestess of Gospel” for her regal bearing and no-nonsense singing style, Inez Andrews was selected to receive the Ambassador Dr. Bobby Jones Legends Award at the 2013 Stellar Awards Ceremony, to be held next month.
Please keep Ms. Andrews’ children, extended family, and friends lifted in prayer at this time.